Spanish, Culture, Adventures, and a little Diarrhea: My WONDERFUL time in Guanajuato Past Review

By (Biochemistry, Lawrence University) for

Universidad de Guanajuato: Guanajuato - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My spanish improved a lot, I made friends, and got to know a beautiful city. Highly recommended.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was great. Almost too easy. There wasn't too much work, but I think it was better that way. It let us go out into Guanajuato and practice and listen for what we just learned in class. Latin American Literature was by far the hardest but most rewarding class I took in Guanajuato. It was difficult to read all the stories, but I found them enjoyable and my Spanish improved.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very Friendly and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My neighbor hood was great. It was friendly and nice. My host mom's grandsons who were about my age didn't really talk to me, but I had a great time with the other younger grandchildren. I enjoyed it. My host parents were very friendly and inviting.

* Food:

Food was fantastic and I was able to stay vegetarian (for the most part), even though my host mom would tease me that I was too skinny and that I was missing out by eating meat and spicy foods. It took about a week and a half for my stomach to get used to the food however. I liked the taste, but I think I had diarrhea for the first week and a half. I really should have said something to my host mom, but for some reason I didn't. Maybe I was too shy or I didn't want to insult her cooking at all, because it really was great. The portion size for breakfast may have been a bit too big, but then again we didn't eat until 3:00. I would definitely recommend telling host parents about queasiness or diarrhea, because they have had plenty other students before. They will give you white bread, rice, and bananas, and you will feel better sooner and have a better experience. Diarrhea is ok, ask for smaller meals! You'll feel better

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

For the most part it was good. The only thing I was a bit disappoint with was that all the other American students would only speak to me in English. I was only there for a month and wanted to get as much Spanish as I could, so it was a bit annoying that they spoke to me in English. They were nice and I like them all and I'm still friends with them, but I wish they had spoken more Spanish. My favorite experience was sitting with my two of my friends, one Mexican, one Texan who arrived in Mexico without knowing Spanish. We would all help each other learn either English or Spanish.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

For health, as I said earler, I wish I had told my host mom I wasn't feeling great and had diarrhea instead of eating a meal and running to the bathroom. Saftey- Guanajuato is Safe, Friendly, pretty. The surrounding towns were a bit more sketchy, and I was glad I was in Guanajuato and not Leon or Celeya. I had no trouble.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Push yourself outside your comfort range. It's ok to feel uncomfortable. Talk to people, for they are usually friendly. Trust your host parents to know how to deal with all health issues you might encounter.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanish Conversation

Course Department:
Instructor: Martin
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This was great. We got to learn what people in mexico actually say, some colloquial phrases, and idioms. Very helpful, especially because we got to listen around town after class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Mexican History

Course Department:
Instructor: Hilda
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Good. It was kind of difficult, but most of the time the teacher taught history in a way that it felt like we were hearing stories. For the most part it was very interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Spanish Grammer

Course Department:
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Great again. Good review and we went fast to cover basic year of spanish in one month. Good review.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Latin American Literature

Course Department:
Instructor: Carlos
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Fantastic. We read many short stories by famous Latin American writers. During class we discussed the stories and authors and cleared up the parts that were difficult to understand. The hardest but most rewarding class I took
Credit Transfer Issues: Yes. The study abroad department at my school was wonderful. Make friends there.